While browsing through the little games that I’ve downloaded over the years, I came across the games on Kenta Cho. He’s a Japanese indie game developer whose works became pretty popular, and he has a unique visual style – using 3D techniques to mimic arcade and vector-graphics in his games. The Guardian once claimed Cho’s works are among “the best-known examples” of Japan’s independent gaming scene.
The interesting thing is his choice of tools. Most of Cho’s games (they’re open source) I have are coded in D, which is a pretty odd choice of language:
The D programming language is an object-oriented, imperative, multi-paradigm system programming languagecreated by Walter Bright of Digital Mars. It originated as a re-engineering of C++, but even though it is mainly influenced by that language, it is not a variant of C++. D has redesigned some C++ features and has been influenced by concepts used in other programming languages, such as Java, Python, Ruby, C#, and Eiffel.
Now I’ve rarely seen the D programming language being used, so Cho has an experimental streak in him. And he’s a great coder, figuring out how to do new things with a new language. I just can’t see myself doing the same thing. My own tendency is to shy away from niche tools like this and go with the easiest tool that can get me making (and actually running) my game in as short a time as possible: tools like Visual Basic, RMXP, Game Maker. In fact, I gravitate towards pre-built engines a lot.
In my defense, I rarely code from scratch mostly because a) I lack the knowledge and proficiency in comparatively lower-level languages (like C++) to write an effective engine and tools and b) time: the likes of Game Maker enable me to directly get down to designing levels within the first few hours without having to worry about memory management and opengl.
What would you prefer? To build your game with easier-to-use off-the-shelf tools (with more performance overhead) or build from scratch from the ground up?
- Steve Yegge and Grok (bsumm.net)
- Twelve New Programming Languages: Is Cloud Responsible? (sys-con.com)